Byron Dorgan (D-ND), in 1999:
Via DKos – Click for transcript.
And I’m so glad he did…
From the AP (via TPM):
An environmental activist tainted an auction of oil and gas drilling leases Friday by bidding up parcels of land by hundreds of thousands of dollars without any intention of paying for them, a federal official said.
The process was thrown into chaos and the bidding halted for a time before the auction was closed, with 116 parcels totaling 148,598 acres having sold for $7.2 million plus fees.
“He’s tainted the entire auction,” said Kent Hoffman, deputy state director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Utah.
No need for my comments as I can just link to more from Mr. Marshall:
Auctions work on the theory that open bidding will efficiently yield the highest price any bidder is willing to pay. DeChristopher’s stunt suggests that, for whatever reason, that’s often not the case at BLM auctions. It turns out that, when pressed, most bidders are willing to pay more, often much more. In other words, DeChristopher exposed the fact that we’re routinely selling the rights to public land for less than its actual market value. No wonder BLM is mad.
Collusion, corruption and cronyism. This is our America?
A DKos diarist takes a look at the month the financial calamity began to begin the ‘first drafts of history’. For those who don’t want to read the entire thing, here’s some of the meat from the conclusion:
American consumers sustained two massive shocks as a result of Black September. First, their confidence was shattered not just by news of corporate collapses, including sensationalistic reports that they were newly responsible for trillions of dollars’ worth of mortgages, but more importantly by the magnification of those collapses by the public figures (the President, the Treasury Secretary, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Senators and Members of Congress) in statements that quite plainly advised Americans that imminent panic over the fate of the entire economy was a proper reaction. And panic American consumers did, as millions of households listened to a President’s speech telling them that the End was Imminent, and then had sober discussions over the kitchen table in which they decided to drastically pull back on discretionary spending, literally overnight.
Thats the quote from the guy (Bernard Madoff) who defrauded his hedge fund investors of $50 BILLION.
I would posit that the same can be said for the rest of the current economic downturn.
I’d been wondering what I end up paying for all the BS and bloviations about the bailout, so I was pleased when Nick Johnson did the math for me (text from near bottom of post):
What’s Your Share?
Assume we have something like 120 million families or living units in America. (I’m going to use 100 million to make the math easier.) Assume all accumulated debt ($55 trillion, plus $11 trillion, plus, plus) is near $70 trillion headed for $100 trillion. The interest on $100 trillion, at 5%, is $5 trillion a year. Your family’s share? How’s $50,000 a year — just for the interest alone — sound? Your family’s share of the entire debt? About $1,000,000. So what’s happening is that these folks who’ve come from, and will be returning to, the Wall Street financial community, have decided to give you responsibility for paying off the mortgage on a one-million-dollar home — but one you’ll never get to see or live in (not incidentally because they’re already living in it).
Should I just declare bankruptcy now?
In all seriousness, how do we say ‘no’ to this crap? At some point the market will need to be allowed to punish all those morons that mis-mananged, deregulated and over-leveraged their complex/completely bullshit financial fairy-tale by allowing them and their companies to be completely wiped out. That the fools at Citi get to keep their shirts AT MY EXPENSE makes me want to puke.
No wonder people go for stuff like this.
Market seems to be doing what markets do…correcting.
According to the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 index, Wednesday’s paper losses amounted to about $600 billion. By that measure, the stock market has shed $9.1 trillion since the index’s Oct. 9, 2007, peak.
This is coming some from the news that the US Treasury isn’t doing what it originally said it was going to do. I guess they’re on the ‘Change’ bandwagon?
Consumerist takes a look at why you tithe for refined petroleum.
One of my favorite sections:
To ensure pricing continuity, refiners used to call each other and share pricing information. Activist judges on the Supreme Court called this “collusion.” The refiners, unfazed by the justices, came up with a crafty alternative: publicly posting their rack prices. Somehow, the Ninth Circuit Court found this to be illegal, too. Nobody knows how refiners discuss their pricing arrangements nowadays, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it involved a members-only group on Facebook.
Part 2 is where the executives of the Really Dishonest and Stupid Investment Banks decide they may not want the money due to compensation restrictions.
Yes, you read that right. Read the rest at The Guardian.